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Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

shards of hopeNarrated by Angela Dawe

Fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series won’t want to miss Shards of Hope, the fourteenth novel set in the ever changing world Ms. Singh has created. It’s nearly sixteen hours long, but don’t let its length intimidate you. This is a book that never drags. In fact, when I reached the end, I found myself wanting more. Luckily, Allegiance of Honor, book 15, is sitting in my audible library.

Before I get into the particulars of this book, let me say that this is not the book to start with, if you’re not already familiar with the series. Instead, purchase Slave to Sensation, the place where it all began, and read the books in order. That way, events in Shards of Hope won’t leave you confused.

As one of the elite Arrow squad, Aden has spent his life as an assassin, killing anyone who threatened the Psy counselors. His psychic abilities make him practically invincible, or, so he thinks. However, when he finds himself trapped in a cell with his abilities blocked, he’s not sure what to do. Luckily, he’s not alone.

Zaira has no goal but protecting Aden. She’s ruthless and broken, definitely one of the reasons Silence was created, but, now that it’s fallen, Zaira isn’t sure how to function. Her emotions are raw and unpredictable. Wandering in a barren land, far from civilization, should give her time to figure things out, but she and Aden are running for their lives. Someone has made targets of the Arrows, but who is their unseen enemy? Will Aden and Zaira be able to save themselves, claiming their HEA along the way?

I must admit that the Arrows were never the most sympathetic of Ms. Singh’s characters. I honestly didn’t know how well I’d deal with Aden as a hero. He’s so very cold, lacking any semblance of emotion, and, even though he had been conditioned by Silence, I couldn’t feel sorry for him. Luckily, Ms. Singh gives us quite a bit of his back story here, making his coldness a little easier to understand. He isn’t my favorite hero, by any means, but I did warm up to him quite a bit as the book went on.

Zaira is a wondrous heroine. I loved watching her find her inner vulnerability and make peace with it. She has to come to terms with her past before she can embrace her future, and she’s definitely up to the challenge. We don’t often see women fighting alongside their men, so I was pleased to see Zaira right in the thick of things. She didn’t sit by and wait to be rescued; in fact, she did some of the rescuing herself. Aden had a bit of trouble allowing this, but, in the end, he comes to see Zaira as his equal, and their partnership is wonderful because of this.

Angela Dawe has narrated all of the Psy/Changeling books up to this point, and I sincerely hope this never changes. She obviously knows the setting and the characters quite well. She has created distinct voices for the exceptionally large cast, and I can’t imagine hearing anyone else read these books.

Her pacing is spot on, as is her ability to make listeners feel the emotion the author intended us to feel. I didn’t feel like I was just listening to a book. Instead, I felt I was right there with the characters. This is, of course, due to Ms. Singh’s stellar writing, but Ms. Dawe’s narration brings the book to life in an incredible way.

This is an amazing addition to a long-running series. I highly recommend it.

Shannon


Narration: A

Book Content: A

Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in

Violence Rating: Escalated Fighting

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Shards of Hope was provided to AudioGals by Tantor Audio for a review.

AudioGals earns commissions on purchases made through links to Amazon.com in this post.

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